If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that that innovation and adaptability are crucial to a business surviving and thriving.

Watching many companies change what they do and how they do it to keep themselves in business, has been one of the more inspiring and reassuring themes emerging from this year to date. Having to adapt and innovate quickly is the key lesson for us all.

Innovation can also be part of longer-term business plans. Creating more efficient processes, or a new and improved product, can take some time to develop, years even.  But, whatever the speed, innovation is vital for success. Consistently striving for continuous improvement in a company, industry or sector will always make things more efficient for the supplier and better for the end user.

So, what about our construction sector? We are frequently perceived as a ‘traditional’ industry, reluctant to change, less inclined to embrace new technology, and, behind other more progressive sectors when adopting new ways of working.

There is always an argument to justify doing things as they have always been done; a natural inclination to resist change and an understandable reliance on tried and tested measures and methods in an increasingly risk-averse world. Low profit margins or inflexibility on the part of investors or insurers to expose themselves by being brave and supporting alternative ideas.

At Daniel Connal Partnership we value innovation and the role it plays to continually improve what the construction sector has to offer in the following key areas:

The Property Technology sector is growing. There will be advances in augmented reality software for planning and monitoring projects embedded into project design, rather than government protocols and a softer-style handover programme.

Modular Building
Innovative and eco-friendly processes are making modular builds an increasingly mainstream and popular proposition, but the endless possibilities for this type of manufacturing will be consistently explored and exploited; not forever restricted to an 8ft by 20ft box.

3D Printing
3D printing is changing many industries around the world. Although still a novelty in construction, 3D printed buildings could become a trend. Currently most of these pioneering structures are made from concrete, but on-site soil and waste from local food production, bioplastic or carbon neutral hemp can be used as a build material.  At the moment 3D printed buildings are small, but they hold huge potential because of advantages over traditional construction methods in terms of reduced build time, less material wastage and lower pollution levels.  It can only be a matter of time before the technology develops sufficiently to make larger buildings a viable proposition. It may be that 3D printing’s more widespread application in construction lies in the production of 3D printed components as part of much larger complex with enhancements pushed alongside more sophisticated designs to accommodate this change.

Creativity and innovation go hand in hand. Whilst not everyone can be the next Zaha Hahid or Frank Gehry, many architects have an inherent desire to be creative in their work, if only this creatively were encouraged rather than stifled; innovative architects might look at adopting materials used in other industries or use conventional materials in unconventional ways to better effect.

Innovation provides exciting and iconic buildings.  Not just our most loved landmarks (wouldn’t the world be a poorer place without the Sydney Opera House, or the Eiffel Tower?) but those highly energy efficient or a unique environment. Two great recent examples are the Co-op headquarters at Manchester’s One Angel Square, rated BREEAM Outstanding, or, Norwich’s prize-winning Goldsmith Street with ultra-low energy, affordable homes.

These innovative projects seem worlds away from what most of us see walking along the high street or residential neighbourhoods. For many developers, housebuilders and town planners, innovation in design appears to be lacking. Rather there seems to be a desire to consistently repeat what they see as a successful formula.  Such regulated spaces don’t engage our attention or lift our spirits.  What’s more, they don’t encourage and challenge professionals in the construction sector to innovate and improve what is proposed.

So, what is the solution?

Innovation can’t happen in a vacuum.  As organisations we need to embed innovation into our culture, creating open forums to facilitate idea sharing that can grow and develop.

We need to recognise the importance of creativity as part of the project development process; encourage creativity in our project teams and give creative minds the opportunity, time and encouragement to grow their ideas.

We also need to focus innovation on new ideas to mitigate the impact of our industry on the planet, reducing carbon emissions and improving safety as drivers.

New technology, new ideas and new ways of doing things are what will move the construction sector forward – allowing us to survive and thrive.  Innovation will improve the build environment for all.

If you are interested in innovation and wish to find out more about this concept in practice at Daniel Connal Partnership, take a look at our case study on Carrow House, Carrow Hill where a 3D tour was produced during the first Lockdown 2020 when site visits were not possible. Take a look at: https://www.danielconnal.co.uk/virtual-tour-aids-remote-working/




“ I enjoy the buzz of helping clients unlock asset value in property through innovative design and refurbishment solutions”

I joined the Daniel Connal Partnership in 1994, became a Partner in 1997 and Joint Senior Partner in 2011.  My time is split between fee earning work, the management of the business and business development.

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Project Management Surveyor and an Incorporated Member of the Association of Project Safety.

My areas of expertise are Project Management, Dilapidations, Party Wall Advice and Defect Diagnosis.  I also act as an Expert Witness and am a member of the Academy of Experts.

Outside of work I am a keen sailor and have recently given in to the middle aged man’s craze of cycling around in tight lycra.  I am also a frustrated Ipswich Town Supporter.

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“I love the teamwork in delivering a project, but relish the knowledge that our singular input is making a real difference.”

I have been joint Senior Partner of Daniel Connal Partnership since 2011, having joined the practice in 1995 and been made Partner in 1999.

As a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Chartered Building Surveyor, Incorporated Member of the Association of Project Safety and experienced project manager, I enjoy helping our clients deliver their ideas for their property through successful building projects.  It is my aim that our staff enjoy their work and that we always provide the best service we can.

When I am not working I enjoy being active and spending time with my family and friends.

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Jonathan Dennis MA, MRICS

“As an experienced Quantity Surveyor I strive to ensure that all of our clients achieve the best possible value for money when undertaking construction works.”

I joined Daniel Connal Partnership in 2011 as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, was made an associate at the start of 2015 and Partner in January 2016.

I have wide ranging experience in sectors across the industry, including Urban Regeneration, Social Housing, Industrial and Manufacture, Education, Defence, Local Authority and Health and have recently enjoyed developing my knowledge of the conservation of buildings with Listed and Ancient Monument status.

When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am a keen cyclist and also enjoy a leisurely walk around the golf course.

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Andrew Long, MEng, MSc, MRICS

“As a surveyor I delight in the opportunity and knowledge that we have a direct impact on shaping the future, bringing buildings back into service and the prospect of leaving a lasting but sustainable impression on the earth.”

I became an Associate in 2011 having joined the practice in 2010.

As a Chartered Building Surveyor, with areas of expertise in Design, Contract Administration, Project Management, Defects Diagnosis, Building Surveys and Dilapidations, I endeavour to provide our clients with the best service to enhance, preserve and obtain the maximum returns on their diverse property portfolios and building projects.

Outside of work I am in demand from my young family and friends in various active pursuits.

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Jonathan Rensink, Tech.IOSH, AIIRSM, IMaPS

“By working hard and supporting others, you won’t be far off the quote that I take great inspiration from. “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort”. Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

I joined DCP in 1999 and was made an Associate in 2013.

A NEBOSH qualified Health and Safety Consultant; my areas of expertise are Health & Safety, CDM 2015 and the provision of Fire Safety and Risk Management advice.

Outside of work I enjoy walking, badminton and football, taking a keen interest in my local football club, Wivenhoe Town.

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Jason Froude BSc (Hons) MRICS

“As an experienced Chartered Surveyor, my number one aim is to deliver success in terms of my Client’s expectations”

Having joined the Daniel Connal Partnership in 2002, I was made an Associate in 2013 and became a Partner in the London office in 2018. I am a Chartered Building Surveyor, with over 15 years experience and a wide ranging skill base over many industry sectors specialising in Project Management, Party Wall, Building Surveys and CDM Advice.

I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Association of Project Safety.

Lucky enough to have the Surrey Hills on my door step, I am a keen rambler, cycling enthusiast and lawn bowler for my local Lawn Bowls team. For my sins I am also a Crystal Palace Supporter.

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John Read




“It gives me great pride to take projects from inception to completion whilst working closely with the clients to meet their design and cost expectations through construction knowledge, design acumen and property expertise”

I joined Daniel Connal Partnership in 2003 as a trainee Building Surveyor with a BSc in Geography and then undertook a post graduate conversion course at Anglia Ruskin University. I became a Chartered Building Surveyor in 2010, was made an Associate of the Practice at the start of 2015 and became a Partner in 2019.

I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Association of Project Safety and the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

I have a wide ranging skill base over many industry sectors specialising in Design, Contract Administration, Party Wall and CDM Co-ordination.

When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am a keen cricketer and partake in weekly five a side football. I am fortunate to live in the Norfolk countryside and enjoy the benefits of long country walks and sunny days at the beach.

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“I look to use my varied career experience to the benefit of each client and to produce the best outcome on every project”

I was appointed Associate at the Colchester Office in January 2016 having joined the Practice in January 2015.

I am both a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Chartered Construction Manager and have over 30 years’ experience working in both private practice and for contractors. I also have familiarity with the client’s perspective having overseen redevelopment of the buildings at my Church.

My varied experience & knowledge enables me to provide a balanced view on projects for the benefit of all parties involved in the construction process.

I am a Deacon & Trustee of my Baptist Church in Ipswich; enjoy theatre, visiting National Trust Properties and a game or two of tennis in the summer months.

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Chris Talford BSC (HONS) MRICS

“I enjoy assisting our varied client base in developing projects right from the initial idea through to a fully finished building, I take great satisfaction in helping clients understand and develop their knowledge of construction along the way.”

I joined Daniel Connal Partnership as a Senior Quantity Surveyor in 2013 and was made an Associate in 2019.

I have experience across a wide range of sectors including Education, Industrial, Healthcare, Residential and Commercial and have gained valuable knowledge from a very varied workload.

I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Outside of work I enjoy playing golf and attempting to persuade my two young sons to support Sheffield United.

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Daniel Moles BSc (Hons) MRICS

“As an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor my key aim is always to act with my client’s best interests in mind, delivering high quality building surveying services to them at all times.”

I initially joined Daniel Connal Partnership as a graduate building surveyor in 2006. Promotion to Senior Building Surveyor followed and in 2015 I was made an Associate of the practice.

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor and have extensive experience in building surveying, party wall matters, feasibility studies and listed buildings across a wide range of industry sectors.

I am a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

When not out surveying buildings I am kept very busy chasing after two energetic young sons.

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Alastair Clark BSc (Hons) MRICS

“It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be involved with projects, especially seeing a completed building knowing that I have added value by taking a proactive approach to cost and risk management through all the stages of design and construction.”

I joined Daniel Connal Partnership as a Senior Quantity Surveyor in 2005.

Progressing to Associate in 2007, I was made Partner in charge of the Colchester office in 2011, with additional responsibility for Ball Hall (Project Management) Ltd (BHPM) from April 2012, when DCP took over their long time sports hall project management partner.

In January 2017 I became the Managing Director of Ball Hall (Project Management) Ltd.

When not flying the BHPM flag, I enjoy the occasional hack around a golf course or game of football. I am also, for my sins, a life-long supporter of West Ham.

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“I see surveying in its various forms as the means of providing one’s own expertise for the benefit of clients….. and satisfied clients make satisfied surveyors”

I joined what was then Daniel B Connal & Partners in 1964 straight from School and retired as Senior Partner of the Daniel Connal Partnership in 2010. I remain actively supporting DCP with its services, particularly those for Ball Hall Projects, whilst acting regularly as a Mediator, Adjudicator, Arbitrator and Expert Witness in my own right.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

My areas of expertise are Quantity Surveying, Project Management, Contract Administration and Dispute Resolution.

When not in the office, family life happily occupies a lot of my time, and I escape to the golf course or fish for trout when time permits. I am also a Trustee of Headway Essex.

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